The official language of Slovenia is Slovene which is classified as one of the South Slavic languages. Worldwide about two and a half million people speak Slovene (or Slovenian). In Slovenia it is the mother tongue of over two million residents. The language is one of the Indo-European languages along with Slavic and Balto-Slavic. Slovene consists of eight vowels and 21 consonants.

According to 2002 statistics Slovene is the first language of 87.8% of Slovenians with Croatian coming in second with 2.8% of the population, Serbian with 1.6%, Serbo-Croatian spoken by 1.6%, and a minority of Italian and Hungarian speakers. The country is made up of seven regional dialectal groups which can, in term, be broken down into a number of lingual subgroups. It’s estimated that there are 56 dialects spoken in the entire nation.

Common phrases in Slovene include the simple greeting of “Živjo / Zdravo” for “hello”. If you want to tell someone that it was nice to meet them in Slovene you would say, “Me veseli” An enthusiastic thank you can be achieved with, “Hvala lepa”. Yes can be translated to, “Da” while no is “Ne”. To inquire if someone knows English is to ask, “Govorite angleško?”

Minority languages in Slovenia include Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Serbo-Croatian, German, Montenegrin, Italian, Albanian, Hungarian, Romani, and Macedonian. Due to Slovenia’s geographical proximity to Italy the Italian language shares official language status with Slovene in the south west part of the country known as Slovene Istria. Slovenia’s Italian minority are protected under the country’s minority protection laws.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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